[LAU] JACK2 hardware buffer size for browser-based video conferencing

Andrew A. Grathwohl andrew at grathwohl.me
Sun Jan 3 20:27:27 CET 2021

Hi folks,

    I have a question about my microphone audio quality when
participating in a browser-based video conference, i.e., Google Meet and
Jitsi on chromium browser.

    Starting last week, I have received numerous reports from coworkers
that my audio is considerably higher quality than normal. Although my
audio input has always been a high end vocal mic, the reports have
indicated that I sound even better than I usually do in these conferences.

    My daily driver machine is a self-built Xeon workstation running
Arch Linux with (I think) a well-configured RT kernel and JACK2, whose
configuration if optimized for USB audio interfaces via this guide
[0]. I use a Peluso mic connected directly to my RME Babyface Pro
interface, which is running via one of my system's USB2 ports.

    In pursuit of understanding why this is occurring, I looked at my
JACK2 settings to see if I'd changed anything lately. Sure enough, I
noticed that I have been working at a larger JACK2 hardware buffer size
than normal. I typically set my size to 64 since I do a lot of real-time
audio work, but have had it set to 256 or 512 lately to do some
different kinds of stuff on the system.

    So, my question boils down to: is it reasonable to suspect the
hardware buffer size has something to do with these sudden quality
improvement reports from my friends & co-workers? If so, any insights
into why this is the case would be greatly appreciated.


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